Today in History: Lincoln is shot in 1865

Today in History: Lincoln is shot in 1865

153 years ago today, 1865 U.S. President Abraham Lincoln is shot. The assassin, John Wilkes Booth, wanted to revive the Confederate cause, mere days after their surrender to the Union Army, bringing the American Civil War to an end. Lincoln died the next day.

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Today in History: Joseph Christian Leyendecker was born today in 1874

Today in History: Joseph Christian Leyendecker was born today in 1874

Leyendecker was born in Montabaur, Germany, and immigrated with his family to Chicago, Illinois, at the age of 8. Showing an early interest in painting, he got his first job at the age of 16 in a Chicago engraving house on the strength of some large pictures he had painted on kitchen oilcloth. In the evenings after work, he studied drawing and anatomy under John H. Vanderpoel at the Chicago Art Institute. Years later, he and his brother Frank Xavier enrolled in the Academie Julian in Paris.

Upon their return, the brothers moved to New York, then the center of American commercial art, advertising, and publishing. As a thoroughly trained artist with immense technical facility, Leyendecker had no difficulty in obtaining top commissions for advertising illustrations and cover designs for leading publications.

He found a niche in fashion and merchandise advertising in the 1920s, producing commissioned pieces for companies Interwoven Socks, Kellogg, Hartmarx, B. Kuppenheimer & Co., and Cluett Peabody & Company, who famously hired him to develop a series of images of the Arrow brand of shirt collars. Leyendecker’s images came to define the fashionable American man of the early 20th century.

At the apex of his career, Leyendecker was considered one of the pre-eminent commercial American artists. It is said that his technical skill was beyond reproach, he worked amazingly fast, and that his draftsmanship was perfect. Norman Rockwell at one time considered Leyendecker his primary mentor, as he heavily influenced Rockwell’s early style and was a true master illustrator of the 20th century.

By the end of his career, Leyendecker was a noted American illustrator and graphic designer who, between 1896 and 1950, had painted more than 400 magazine covers, most of them of an idealized America. He painted his first Post cover in 1899 and executed 321 more during the next 40 years.

Source: http://www.saturdayeveningpost.com.

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Today is National Serpent Day

Today is National Serpent Day

Across religions and cultures, the serpent has been used as a symbol of evil, medicine, fertility and much more. Recognizing serpents and snakes alike, February 1st observes National Serpent Day. Around the world, there are over 3,000 species of snakes. The world’s smallest snake is the Barbados thread snake. This serpent is smaller than a night crawler at about 4 inches.In comparison, the longest snake is the reticulated python and the heaviest is the green anaconda. Ready for some facts? Only 1/8 of the known species are venomous. Their upper and lower jaw separate to allow snakes to consume prey up to three times larger than the diameter of their head. Snakes eat their prey whole.Most snakes are nocturnal. Their tongue is used to smell their air. Snakes are cold-blooded, or ectotherms, and must sun themselves to regulate their body temperatures. Source: nationaldaycalendar.com

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Today in History: Howard Chandler Christy born in 1873

Today in History: Howard Chandler Christy born in 1873

145 years ago today, the American artist and illustrator Howard Chandler Christy was born in Morgan County, Ohio. Christy studied art in New York at the Art Students League and later at the National Academy of Design under William Chase. Christy went to Cuba in 1898 to cover the Spanish-American War where he quickly gained a reputation as a wartime artist. His breakthrough came with the publication of “The Soldier’s Dream” in Scribners magazine. The girl he portrayed became known as “The Christy Girl” and was later featured in many other magazines as well as his famous World War I recruitment posters. After the war, Christy continued to paint, focusing on portraits and later on landscapes. The artist is perhaps best known for his 1940 historic paining “Signing the Constitution” that is displayed in the U.S. Capital. Christy died in New York in 1952.

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Today is National Save the Eagles Day

Today is National Save the Eagles Day

Save the Eagles Day is observed annually on the 10th of January. Some species of eagles are on the endangered list. However, due to the work of scientists and the public, the Bald Eagle was removed from this list in June 2007. There are more than 70 species of eagles throughout the world. The only exception is Hawaii, where no species of eagles reside. Poaching, pesticides and other dangers continue to threaten eagle populations. Source: nationaldaycalendar.com.

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Today in History: Pearl Harbor Attack in 1941

Today in History: Pearl Harbor Attack in 1941

Today marks the 76th anniversary of Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor which resulted in the United States’ entrance into World War II. President Franklin Roosevelt described the attack on Pearl Harbor as “a date which will live in infamy.”

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Today in History: U.S. Marine Corps created in 1775

Today in History: U.S. Marine Corps created in 1775

242 years ago today, during the American Revolution, the Continental Congress passed a resolution forming two battalions of Continental Marines capable of fighting for independence both at sea and on shore. The resolution was drafted by future U.S. president John Adams and adopted in Philadelphia on November 10, 1775. The original U.S. Marines distinguished themselves in important operations during the Revolutionary War. In July 1798. the U.S. Marine Corps became a permanent military force under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Navy (formed in May 1798). Marines have participated in all the wars of the United States and in most cases were the first soldiers to fight. Today, the USMC  has approx. 200,000 active-duty members and 40,000 reserve Marines.

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